Wednesday, December 28, 2011

remaking yourself

Christmas is over and 2012 is right around the corner and like many people out there, I am having dreams of redoing my whole life. I want fresh starts and clean sheets. I want to look at the world and my life in a new way. I want to be more of the me I know I can be and less of the me I am when I'm motivated by fear or insecurity. I want to try new things and make different efforts. I want to narrow in my focus and get more done - and do less multi-tasking.

 If you're like most people you are probably thinking of ways to make 2012 a better year. I love this part of the new year. I like making lists and assigning areas of focus. Unfortunately this fresh start feeling we all crave always results in millions of messages about how you need to lose weight to be the best you. 

This intense time of fat hatred focus can be a bad triggering time for lots of people. If your goal is to exercise more and lose weight that is your business, but don't let other people tell you what you need to be. This includes the media, family, boyfriends, workplace, ect. And it's not just about weight. I have seen many people over the years become less of themselves because other people wanted them to. They altered their interests or smarts because it made other people uncomfortable. This never works out. You can only be who you are. And in fact - you are the only one who can be that person!

If you want to change yourself for yourself that's different. That is life. We are all always in the process of changing and that's a good thing. But, don't alter or edit yourself just to please someone else.

Imagine what a better world this would be if people spent less time and money trying to change themselves and instead accepted and loved themselves. This would free up so much time and money for doing good in the world.

With this in mind I made this free printable 5x7 print. Print it or Pin it if you feel it can help you to remember. You're awesome! Thanks for being you!


Friday, December 23, 2011

Santa's on his way

Merry Christmas and Happy Holiday to all of you. I hope you have a wonderful weekend. I am posting my favorite Christmas song for you. This isn't the ultimate version of it for me, but it's the closest I could find.

Thanks to all of you for keeping up with me and this blog. Love to you all!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

december days

Here are some images from my December so far.

Hope you all have a wonderful week next week. Happy Holidays to you all!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Vintage Christmas Tags - Free Printable!

I kind of love Christmas Tags. New or used. I have quite a lot (but frustratingly couldn't find half of them recently). Christmas tags are these sweet little pieces of illustration art that can be so perfect and festive.

It's kind of a shame they're thrown away, but that is the nature of them (and why they call it ephemera, right?). If you come across vintage Christmas tags you might have some trepidation actually using them, since they just end up in the trash bag.  However, copies of vintage tags are a great option (especially if you only have one or two of a design). So, I took a handful of my favorite tags and scanned them so you can have a free printable from PonyBoy Press and The Cedar Chest.

  holiday tags freebie
How to use these:

1. Go to the original size link.
2. Save to your computer (this is a large file, so it might take a minute)
3. Open in a image program or print from the icon. It is made to fit a 8.5 x 11 page at 300 dpi.  
    You do need to change the printer direction to landscape or horizontal.
4. Cut out tags.
5. Have fun!

Happy Winter Holidays to all of you!  Hope your enjoying the season.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Help Solve the Turko Mystery

This is a picture from my living room. This painting of Turko has been mine for 17 years and as you can see this month marks the 100 year anniversary of Turko. We wanted to do something to commemorate it, so I created a website and made some postcards that I sent off to people.

The website has a lot of closer images of the Turko Painting and a guestbook. I would love it of you would take a look and let me know if you have any theories about what this painting is all about and sign the guestbook to help celebrate 100 years of Turko.

Thanks for taking part!!  You can learn more about Turko and Me on the site as well. Happy century to good old Turko!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

zine gifts

I really need to blog about zines more on here. I think about doing it all the time, but then time passes and I forget the zine a bit (I have terrible retention) and then I don't. But, it's Christmas and I wanted to let you know that zines are a great gift for some people, especially young writers who may be inspired to try it themselves. I have met many friends through zines - all in the last 11 years. My life would not be as rich at all without zines and zine friends.

So, on to the zine gift ideas.  Of course, we shall start with my zines. I created a size posi Love your Body pack with 3 zines and some extra fun stuff. Great for any friend who is struggling with feeling shame or hatred over their own  body because they feel they are too big.

Lots of zines, especially perzines can be a little depressing (including some of mine), which can be a great read, but kind of not something you wanna give to someone. I find myself more and more wanting positive zines. Here are some that would make good gifts.

The Radical Uprise  puts out some awesome zines all about how to keep a positive mental attitude. Some of the stuff in the zine can be pretty basic to me, but you never know what people are taught and I think all the zines they put out are great. I highly recommend them and the whole idea of Positive Mental Attitude being a "cool" thing. These zines might help some tweener see PMA in a different light.

In the same vein this zine Shit's Fucked is a great little zine, too. It has some good basic info about how to be a responsible adult and not screw up things for yourself.

This zine is availalbe at the zine distro Ms Valerie Park and there are some other good choices there, too.

     Some other good zines to get for people are D.I.Y. zines. Do they wanna make their own cleaning products? Make Your Place is a beautiful little book which was based off of many zines.

Or maybe they wanna learn screenprinting. Many interests have zines about them and these zines often have tips on how to make these hobbies or do these jobs in a cheaper or greener way. Just go to a zine distro site or Etsy and do a search on the subject your friend is interested in. Maybe it's vintage postcards? Or maybe it's home fermentation.

Cooking zines are also a good option. Does your friend have a obsession with Nutella?  Or tea? Lots of cooking zines out there.

One more kind of zine that is a fun gift is the fanzine. I'm gonna guess that there is a zine for lots of musical acts, writers, books, movies and actors. Like, um....Prince, Justin Bieber, Mary Wollstonecraft, The Golden Girls, Star Trek: The Next Generation....the possibilities are endless.

Zines are a great add-on gift for a theme present. Like a vegan cook zine with some measuring cups or a tea zine with some special tea and a mug.

Anyway, these are just some basic ideas and some zines I really like. Have fun!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

christmas tags from family photos

I have to admit to myself that my vision is often bigger and better than my circumstance. I had a great idea of how these Holiday gift tags were gonna look, but due to my small space and lack of good lighting, these images didn't turn out like they should have.

I'm gonna share anyway, because I think it's a good idea. All you need is a color printer and some card stock matte paper (80 # is good). I used a 3" tag puncher that I just got and am pretty into, but you could trace a tag on the back of the image or just cut out in any shape you want. It's a fun idea to have the gift have an old picture of the person the present is for, but you could also use old found photographs.

I got the idea from Sweet Paul magazine. Here's what it looks like when a professional prop stylist takes the pics.

Here's how mine turned out:

You can use non-people images from Christmas past, too. These trees are old Christmas trees of my youth that I scanned from old slides. That's my sister above ripping open a KaBoom present and me in the white fur hat and muff (so necessary for Southern California winters. You never know when it'll hit 65!).

The black and white photo is a found one from my collection.

Hope these inspire you a bit.  Next week I'm gonna have some free vintage printable tags. And check out the post on The Cedar Chest on using copies of vintage cards to make your Holiday cards.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

scattered pictures

 I've been taking picture of trees all over town like crazy for a month. They have  been so pretty here this year. But, most of them just don't translate. The sky is grey, often it's late in the afternoon and well, I'm no professional photographer.

But, since Friday marks the beginning of the Christmas season, I figured I need to get these posted now. It kind of irks me that autumn is just dropped the day after Thanksgiving. I mean, there are 3-4 weeks left - one third of the season.

Oh, well, I'm sure I'll get all Christmassy on you soon. Here are some random autumny fall type pics I took over the last month (Oh, yeah, I had a birthday in there, too). Hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving, everyone!

Monday, November 21, 2011

up to the mountain

I have a few blog posts piling up in my head. I've been pretty busy working on The Cedar Chest blog and updates. I've added a lot of new postcards and photos in the shop recently (including some Christmas postcards) and started a Facebook page. I hope you will want to check them out.

I have also been working more on the website for my dad's film and have created a Facebook page for Gifts of an Eagle, as well. 

I would love it if you "like" one or both of my new pages.

So, because of these things (and others) this blog has been a little ignored. But, I have posts and I need to get them out of my head and onto the computer. Here is a belated one.

At the beginning of November the mister and I went on a trip up near Mt Hood. There is a cabin we like there and we've gone to it a few times (if you're looking to go I highly recommend Mt Hood Rentals).

Here are some pics from a day that we went out for a drive. It was pretty clear weather when we were there, which was a different experience for us. It was neat to see it like that, but I kind of missed the snow.

First let's start with a nice breakfast at The Zig Zag Inn

Sometimes the Mountain would suddenly just show up as you turned in the road and it just took my breath away. So close and big. It was neat to see it so bare. We hadn't had much snow yet.

mt hood

We came across this meadow as we were on our way to find a lake we never found. It was just so pretty. All golden and secret the way it just showed up. The whole time we were there no one even drove by.

There was this little cabin that just made the whole picture perfect. Just like a Bob Ross painting.

meadow house



And more views of old Mt Hood on the way home.  Nice.

mt hood

This whole mountain is covered in snow now. There's been about 40 inches since we were there.

Friday, November 11, 2011

no pressure mini apple pies

I have always been intimidated to make pie crust. If I make a pie I usually buy the pre-made pie crusts. But, the other night I made two mini apple pies for me and the mister. I didn't even think about the fact that I had made pie crust until it was done. I think the fact that they were little and I could just patch it together made it a lot less intimidating.

I used this recipe. But, instead of making them in muffin tins I used ramekins, which are bigger. I then halved the recipe (because I was only using 2 ramekins). It turned out real good, but I needed to pack more apples in. They cooked down and we definitely needed more ( I used 2 medium and one small). The baking time was a bit longer in the ramekins.

I had a hard time getting the pie crust to not break up. Let me know if you have any tips on that. In general this was a really easy recipe and pretty fast - and no pie crust pressure! 

There are so many apple recipes on Pinterest right now! If you are wondering what to make this weekend or for Thanksgiving, check them out. You can start on my Food and Drink Board, which has a lot of them listed, including the one I used here.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

autumn walkways

I visited the Chinese Gardens here in Portland last weekend. It is one of my favorite places in Portland. I really need to go there more often. I think people talk about the Japanese Garden more in regards for tourists in Portland, and the Japanese Gardens are nice. But, the Lan Su Chinese Garden is such a more unique experience. I think I especially like all the open interiors - walkways, hallways, little buildings - all with pretty intricate woodwork.

There are lots of places that you can sort of hide or get out of the way.

Weekends can be kind of crowded. Weekdays off season are the best for taking some quiet time in the garden.

Today I have not been walking along pretty garden walkways like last Sunday. I've been on the computer way too long. But before I go I want you to know that I'm having a Free Shipping Sale at The Cedar Chest through Sunday the 6th. 

I also just created a facebook page for The Cedar Chest. So, please check it out and "like" it if you do. I just posted a bunch on new stuff at the Etsy shop.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

in praise of carnations

I love carnations. I think they are a highly under-appreciated flower. They have a lovely spicy scent and they look real friendly and pretty.

The mister and I celebrated our 8 year anniversary last week and he brought me these carnations. He has brought me many amazing beautiful flower arrangements over the years and I have loved them all. These sweet carnations are loved as much and look great in the vases I have.


Next time your at the florist or even the grocery store take a whiff of some carnations and bring them home.  

carnations 2

October brings our anniversary and a mountain vacation. I am finally starting to feel better from my back injury. I hope your October is wonderful!

Saturday, October 8, 2011

what hollywood will hopefully learn from bridesmaids

I'm kind of obsessed with the movie Bridesmaids right now. I never caught it in the theaters, so I bought it as soon as it came out., I knew I would like it and I'm already a big fan of Melissa McCarthy.  I have had it for about two weeks and I've watched it 4 times since then. It is a very funny, well rounded and well done film. I love the friendship of the main characters in the movie and all the bridesmaids are just perfection.

If I had seen it earlier I would have written a big entry like this one. Melissa McCarthy almost steals that movie and you're so happy whenever she is on screen.  She's the hero of the film, really. She's the one that comes through and wakes up the heroine. She is kick ass in every way. And I have totally known women kind of like her.

I think the main thing that needs to be said over and over again is that Bridesmaids is a movie with three fat characters (two are smaller rolls - the roommate and a stewardess - yes, a fat stewardess!) and there are virtually no fat jokes in the script - AND it was the blockbuster of the summer!!

Do you hear that Hollywood? Fat people were cast, were hilarious and were not used for cheap fat hating jokes - and the film was the biggest film of the summer!  Please, please learn from this.

Some people might think there were some fat jokes in Bridesmaids, but they were small and subtle and and were in line with the characters. They weren't something I found offensive.

And then last week Melissa McCarthy does Saturday Night Live and kills it! I am so happy for her and her success.

I also secretly love that she has been smaller in the past, even losing quite a bit of weight at one time and yet when she really breaks through is when she's bigger. In fact, since she is so short, I don't really know if she could have been so good in the Bridesmaids roll is she'd been smaller. The character needed some physical heft to back up her personality.

I also watch her sitcom Mike and Molly where she pays a much more straight character. It's a good show, mostly. Her comic timing and reactions are just so good. Unfortunately, the mother played by Swoosie Kurtz is a mean-spirited fatphobic character and I find myself hating her and not wanting to watch Mike and Molly just for the way the mother character is written. But, my love for McCarthy wins out. She won an Emmy this year over some amazing people for her performance in the sitcom!

It is nice - finally - to have a movie like Bridesmaids prove what many of us have all been saying over the years. Fat jokes are cheap and easy and not needed for a quality film - or even a blockbuster film. Please folks, learn from Bridesmaids.

Sunday, September 25, 2011


Today has been somewhat rainy and windy. Fall is now here and as usual I am happy to see it. However, I was not happy to have such early fall-like weather last weekend when the mister and I went to the coast. I was hoping for a little blast of last minute summer. I had visions of laying on the warm sand during the day and staring at the stars at night. Instead I got a grey sky that almost exactly matched the grey ocean and rain all weekend long.  You couldn't even sit on the porch without getting wet.

It was still a nice weekend, though. There was lots of relaxing and one day we went into town, walked around in the rain and had some ice cream.

We also stopped by the smoked fish shop. I've driven by a few times and never could stop. We got the most amazingly good and still warm smoked tuna, salmon and black cod. I will stop there now everytime.

Karla's Smokehouse
We stayed in a kooky old run down house that hadn't been redone since the early 80's and is still filled with the owners things. The owners still come and stay there part of the year.

Down in their dark garage there's a little hallway to get to the washer and dryer area (everything else is behind plywood walls and covered in tarps). In this hallway I found a wall covered with clippings and old calendars and posters. I love finding walls like this. This one was especially exciting because the owner had a pin-up calendar from 1981 on Duane Bryers' chubby pin-up creation, Hilda. I have only ever seen these images on the internet. It was cool to see some in real life. 

Everyone seems to be pretty excited about fall being here. I am already looking forward to some things. But, I'm gonna try and keep my preconceived ideas to a minimum about my plans. You never know what you'll really get.

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